XII International Congress on Obesity
17 – 20 March, Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
The World Obesity Federation (previously known as IASO) invited delegates from all around the globe to the International Congress of Obesity conference held in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia. This offered an excellent opportunity for researchers to join together, broadcasting their latest research as well as enjoying conversations all aimed at tackling the global obesity crisis.
The conference attracted a high caliber of speakers; across an eight track scientific programme delivered over 4 days. Scientific tracks included Nutrition, Exercise, Psychology to lifestyle; Healthy weight to weight related pathologies; Genes, Environment and Pathophysiology, and lifestyle intervention to drugs and surgery.
The conference was the first opportunity to present the novel research aimed at tackling adolescent obesity conducted here at the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with Sheffield Children’s hospital, led by Lindsey Reece.
Work was presented as a poster titled ‘Pilot Study: Use of intragastric balloons alongside a lifestyle support programme to promote weight loss in severely obese adolescents: The BOB study’ and is also published in a special issue of Obesity Reviews journal.
This innovative research was very well received sparking many discussions, primarily around adolescents being the forgotten age group and the need for innovative methods to engage this target group, which thus far has proved challenging. It provided an excellent opportunity to build new partnerships with researchers around the world, gain insight into latest tools and techniques, all helping in the design of future research bids.
Several awards were presented to researchers who had provided significant contributions in their research area. Professor Steven Blair received the award for Population science and public health, delivering a powerful, yet entertaining presentation on Physical Inactivity: A major public health problem. He highlighted the impact of being physically active on health but also reinforced the need to move with technology, researching the latest gadgets and utilising the feedback they give as an approach to increase activity levels. Seizing the moment, I spoke about the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine here in Sheffield – something to follow up now I am back!
Other work of particular interest included Lobstein’s work on the latest epidemiology of obesity in children: international comparisons, Susan Jebb discussed behavioural strategies for weight management, Steinbeck explored adolescents as the forgotten population, Sallis presented changing physical activity environments, Nick Finer considered bariatric surgery for who, when and how, plus lots more.
Overall, a fantastic experience, a privilege listening to speakers I frequently quote in my work and an excellent opportunity to learn from the driving forces in the obesity field.